Is Iron Man 2 better than Iron Man? That is really the best review you can give for this film. Does it at least live up to the 2008 blockbuster?
Its a tough question to call. Upon initial watching I had thoroughly enjoyed what I had seen but when I was walking down the steps of the screen and was asked "So, what did you think?", my first thought was "Good, but the first one was better." But I had no idea why I thought that.
However, yesterday, I found myself with a shift at work where I was designated ensuring no illegal copies of Iron Man were recorded, and so sat through the film from start to finish around 4/5 times, however often out of sequence. And as I sit here now, typing about the film, I find myself seeing exactly why.
I can't think of a better fight sequence in the first film than the Monaco showdown, where Mickey Rourke's Ivan Vanko breaks onto the track and unleashes havoc on both racing cars and our hero. Tony Stark(Robert Downey Jr. on fine form once again) has never been so under threat, shear terror in his eyes, his public image shattered as Vanko lashes the ground from beneath him with huge electrical wiring. Its gripping stuff, and easily the most exciting bit of the movie.
Then it hit me. This was the most dangerous, gripping, exciting part in a two hour movie. And it happens within the first 40 minutes. From here on in the threat never feels real, Tony's image is never really under threat.